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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
09 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi - enjoy our visit shared with you!

Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi was opened in 1925, 3 years after the death of George Cadbury who had always wanted an Anglican church in the Bournville village. The church was designed by William Alexander Harvey. The South Chapel was built in 1966.

Enjoy this post and photography by Elliott Brown taken during Birmingham's Heritage Week (September 2021).

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Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi - enjoy our visit shared with you!





Bournville Parish Church: St Francis of Assisi was opened in 1925, 3 years after the death of George Cadbury who had always wanted an Anglican church in the Bournville village. The church was designed by William Alexander Harvey. The South Chapel was built in 1966.

Enjoy this post and photography by Elliott Brown taken during Birmingham's Heritage Week (September 2021).


The church is located on Linden Road.

Despite being a Quaker, George Cadbury had always wanted an Anglican church to be built in Bournville. The Hall was built in 1913 and the church followed in 1925. 

The South Chapel was opened in 1966 by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury in memory of their children, Julian, Anthea and Lindsay.

Here are some exterior photos of the church.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT BPC St Francis 11092021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT BPC St Francis 11092021 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT BPC St Francis 11092021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT BPC St Francis 11092021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now inside the church.

The ceiling inside St Francis of Assisi Church in Bournville is in the style that William Alexander Harvey was noted for.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here is the pulpit inside the church.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here is the alterpiece inside the church.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Next to the alterpiece is the organ.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is a stained glass window in memory of Lt. John Barclay who was killed flying from H.M.S. Seahawk on 11th March 1953, aged just 24.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The South Chapel opened in 1966 by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury in memory of their children, Julian, Anthea and Lindsay (who all sadly died very young).

Alexander Lindsay Aitkin Turner (1927 - 1964) aged 37, Anthea Karen Turner (1936 - 1964) aged 28  and Julian St. John Cadbury (1926 - 1950) aged 24.

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Parish Church" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT PC SFA int 11092021 (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

We hope you enjoyed our post.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
02 Oct 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

St Mary's Church, Handsworth - enjoy our visit shared with you!

St.Mary's Church in Handsworth, Birmingham (also known as Handsworth Old Church) is home to the memorial sculptures of James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch. Given its history and the importance it played at the time, it is often referred to as "The Industrial Cathedral of Birmingham". Enjoy this great post from Elliott, a regular Birmingham Gems contributor.

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St Mary's Church, Handsworth - enjoy our visit shared with you!





St.Mary's Church in Handsworth, Birmingham (also known as Handsworth Old Church) is home to the memorial sculptures of James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch. Given its history and the importance it played at the time, it is often referred to as "The Industrial Cathedral of Birmingham". Enjoy this great post from Elliott, a regular Birmingham Gems contributor.


During the Birmingham Heritage Week, Elliott went along to visit St Mary's Church in Handsworth, easy to get to on the no 16 bus that takes you to Hamstead Road.

It was quiet inside the Grade II listed Anglican church which is built on ten-acre of grounds, located adjacent to Handsworth Park.

The church is the resting place of famous progenitors of the industrial age, James Watt, William Murdoch and Matthew Boulton and has been described as “the Cathedral of the Industrial Revolution”.

Elliott's been waiting two years to get inside of this church, mainly for the memorials to James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch.

The church has origins back to the 12th and 13th centuries, although what you see today is a complete rebuild from the 19th century. Architects who worked on the building in the 19th century included William Hollins in 1820, Thomas Rickman in 1826 (the South Chapel built in memory of James Watt), and later J A Chatwin from 1876 to 1880. More recently the roof was repaired during 2019 to 2020.

It is a Grade II* listed building.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Church Hwrth ext (Sep 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Church Hwrth ext (Sep 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Church Hwrth ext (Sep 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Church Hwrth ext (Sep 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Tour of the interior of St Mary's Church, Handsworth

You enter the church from the side door from the churchyard.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Below stained glass windows is information panels on James Watt and the Industrial Revolution (probably provided by the Birmingham Museums Trust).

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Down here you will find the monuments to Matthew Boulton, William Murdoch (spelt Murdock) and Joseph Grice. The South Chapel on the right leads to the statue of James Watt.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The organ.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here are two examples of stained glass windows at St Mary's Church, Handsworth.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Here's the pulpit.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth int (Sep 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

And a piano.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There's somewhere to light candles under a colourful cross.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The lecturn resembles golden eagles.

dndimg alt="St Mary's Church Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Monuments

The marble statue of James Watt (1736 - 1819) is located in the South Chapel. It was sculpted by Francis Legatt Chantrey.

This is currently the only place to see a statue of James Watt in Birmingham (the 1866 statue of James Watt formerly at Chamberlain Square by Alexander Munro has been in storage since 2015).

dndimg alt="James Watt St Mary's Handsworth" dndsrc="https://www.birminghamgems.com/uploadedfiles/James Watt St Marys Hwth (Sep 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Monument to Matthew Boulton (1728 - 1809) is by Flaxman.

dndimg alt="Matthew Boulton St Marys Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Matthew Boulton St Marys Ch Hwrth (Sep 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Monument to William Murdoch (spelt here as Murdock) (1754 - 1839) was also by Flaxman.

dndimg alt="William Murdock St Marys Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/William Murdock St Marys Ch Hwrth (Sep 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is also a marble bust of William Murdoch in the cafe area (just behind a TV). A childrens book about James Watt was on the left.

dndimg alt="William Murdoch" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/William Murdoch St Marys Ch Hwrth (Sep 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Other memorials here include this one to Joseph Grice Esquire.

dndimg alt="Joseph Grice" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joseph Grice St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Also there is a memorial/monument to Sarah Russell, and later her husband John Russell.

dndimg alt="Sarah Russell" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/S Russell St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Also to be found here are these tombs.  A medieval armoured soldier and below him another one.

dndimg alt="Tomb St Marys Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Tomb St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was also this tomb of a couple found close to the area with the monuments to Boulton, Watt & Murdoch.

dndimg alt="Tomb St Marys Handsworth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Tomb St Marys Hwrth (Sep 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

We hope you enjoyed this informative post and photography.  The full feature on St. Mary's Church can be found HERE.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
22 Sep 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Bournville Village Primary School - enjoy our visit shared with you!

The Birmingham Heritage Week open days were held in Bournville on Saturday 11th September 2021 at about 11 venues. Elliott Brown popped to three venues that day, starting with the Bournville Village Primary School (formerly Bournville Junior School). The school opened in 1906, and celebrated their centenary in 2006. The Carillon was not open, but you could hear the bells ringing.

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Bournville Village Primary School - enjoy our visit shared with you!





The Birmingham Heritage Week open days were held in Bournville on Saturday 11th September 2021 at about 11 venues. Elliott Brown popped to three venues that day, starting with the Bournville Village Primary School (formerly Bournville Junior School). The school opened in 1906, and celebrated their centenary in 2006. The Carillon was not open, but you could hear the bells ringing.


Although the Bournville Carillon was not open to the public on Saturday 11th September, you could hear it ringing when getting off the bus on Linden Road. However Bournville Village Primary School was open with an entrance on Woodbrooke Road.

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Primary School 11092021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Primary School 11092021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

You enter through the doors in the entrance hallway.

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The main school hall was designed by William Alexander Harvey and is a truly magnificent space.

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Just look at the stained glass window unveiled in 2006 on the centenary of the school opening in 1906. It was unveiled by HRH the Duke of Gloucester and is stunning!

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bournville Village Primary has some great values. 

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There is a black and white photo portrait of the schools founder George Cadbury (1839 - 1922).

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There was also a black and white portrait photo of his wife, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury (1858 - 1951). George married his second wife Elizabeth in 1888 and they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1913. A tablet was placed in the main school hall in 1913 by the residents of Bournville to celebrate the occasion. Sadly George died in 1922, and Elizabeth was a widow for 29 years (until her own death in 1951).

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Through some of the locked doors, you can see corridors to classrooms, and also see the classrooms from the main hall.

dndimg alt="Bournville Village Primary School" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BVT Prim Sch int 11092021 (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

We hope you enjoyed our post.

More posts and features and a map of City Gems can be found at www.BirminghamGems.com

Photos taken by Elliott Brown can also be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Sport & leisure
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway

On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.

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Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway





On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.


Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club

The Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club, also called Bournville Model Yacht & Powerboat Club, was founded in the year 1900 as the Bournville Model Yachting Club at Rowheath Park. By 1926, George Cadbury Jr (son of the late George Cadbury who died in 1922) commissioned an area of marshland on the now famous Bournville Village Trust, to be reclaimed, and a concrete pool of even depth was created. The surrounding park is called The Valley Parkway by Birmingham City Council. The club has their own Boat House on site, and regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and Sunday afternoons for model power boating. They sometimes also meet on other days for model boating.

 

26th March 2017

That Sunday there was model RNLI  powerboats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Mar 2017) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Mar 2017) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4th October 2018

On a Thursday morning walk through The Valley Parkway, I only managed to get one photo of a model yacht in the lake. See the project gallery for more photos. They don't usually sail the model yachts on Thursday's. At weekends they regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and on weekdays, they meet on Wednesday mornings, and sometimes Tuesday afternoons. It's the power boat sessions that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Oct 2018) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

15th August 2021

A Sunday morning walk along Bournville Lane, to see if I could see any activity from the Bournville Model Yacht Club. Luckily, there was a whole bunch of them out at Bournville Lake, with a lot of model yachts, as you can see in the gallery below. The members seem to be mostly retired men and women.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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100 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
09 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021

I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.

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A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021





I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.


Previous Sandwell Valley Country Park post from my visit of July 2017.

 

Sandwell Valley Country Park, 4th August 2021

It's been around two years since I last got off the tram at West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. And since then we have had the pandemic. By late July 2021, the Midland Metro Alliance closed the extension from Bull Street to Stephenson Street (so all stops to Library are closed until October 2021 for track relaying works). So I booked my day ticket in the My Metro app before I set out, and travelled to Bull Street Tram Stop.

I got the tram to West Bromwich Central, and after a coffee and toastie at Costa at New Square Shopping Centre, started walking towards Sandwell Valley Country Park (via the Cronehills Interchange Bridge which crosses The Expressway). I avoided Dartmouth Park, and got to Dagger Lane, and headed down Salters Lane to get into the park.

 

Sandwell Park Farm

Welcome to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Home to Sandwell Park Farm. This sign seen from Salters Lane. Sandwell Valley Children's Fun Fair is to the right.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I almost walked up the road to the car park, but instead got back on Salters Lane towards the gate and went through it into the park.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path / road to walk on was quite rough. On the right saw a field full of cows.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These flowers growing in the field are Helicrysum arenarium, according to a scan of Google Lens on my phone.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Further down, another field was full of sheep.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The rough path continues on towards the first bridge that crosses over the M5 motorway.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Before I crossed the bridge, saw another path, this one runs around Hillhouse Farm

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

M5 bridge crossing no 1

The first bridge over the M5 motorway. It is a Weak Bridge, so only vehicles of 7.5T mgw or less. Assume it is used by lightweight farm or park vehicles?

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The bridge rises over the M5 motorway as I walked towards the other half of the park.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A lot of traffic on the M5 below. Heading towards the end of the M5 and M6, Junction 8. Left lane, M6 south, right lanes, M6 north.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view below towards M5, Junction 1 for West Bromwich. There was also a sign for Birmingham Park & Ride (either train or tram). If train then it probably means either The Hawthorns or Smethwick Galton Bridge.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Swan Pool

This is the largest lake at Sandwell Valley Country Park. It is called the Swan Pool (alternative names include Wasson or Warstone). Used for sailing. Home of ducks, geese and swans. Paths around the lake for walks, taking your dog for a walk. Also used by cyclists.

A walk around Swan Pool, along the paths in a clockwise direction.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some swans in the lake, near decking used for fishing.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was Canada geese in the lake as well as some Greylag geese.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After leaving Swan Pool, got a couple more photos from the path towards Park Lane, near the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Path from Park Lane

After leaving Swan Pool I was next heading towards Park Lane. I eventually got to this gate and crossed over, but couldn't see any pavements to safely walk to The Hawthorns, so instead followed the path towards the ruins instead.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking back to the Park Lane exit, behind me, I was approaching the ruins of both Sandwell Priory (closed 1525) and Sandwell Hall (demolished 1928).

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sandwell Priory Ruins

The remains of Sandwell Priory, a medieval Benedictine monastery, which was excavated between 1982 and 1988. Some of the finds are on display at a small museum at Sandwell Park Farm. It was built in the mid 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich. It was located next to the 'Sand Well' a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name. In the first couple of centuries there was probably hundreds of monks here, but by the second half of the 14th century, there was only about one or two monks at the priory. After a recovery in the 15th century, the numbers declined again by the time Cardinal Wolsey closed it in 1525. By this date there was only the Prior and one monk, and many buildings were in a poor state.

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Sandwell Hall Ruins

Sandwell Hall was built in top of Sandwell Priory in 1705. The site was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished most of the existing buildings to build a new house. It was built in brick and had towers on three corners. In the 19th century a portico supported by columns was added to the front of the hall, and the hall was extended to the west. The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

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M5 bridge crossing no 2

After seeing the ruins of both Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall, the path leads directly to another footbridge over the M5 motorway. Again a Weak Bridge for vehicles with 7.5T mgw.

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I wasn't expecting to cross the M5 twice, as I originally thought of leaving the park at Park Lane (but no pavements).

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Busy traffic on the M5 below. Was a 40 mph limit towards the junction with the M6.

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Southbound towards Worcester and Bristol was fine, just northbound to the end of the M5 looked congested.

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Exit to Europa Avenue

After crossing over the second M5 bridge, I left via the path towards Europa Avenue. Found a housing estate with various cul-de-sacs. The path emerged onto a cul-de-sac called St John's Close. Saw this Welcome sign.

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Now on Europa Avenue, saw this Sandwell Valley Community Noticeboard next to a red post box.

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Passing a Mercure Hotel, I took a route towards Kenrick Park Tram Stop, via Beeches Road, Birmingham Road, Roebuck Lane and Devereux Road. Found a path onto the West Bromwich Parkway, and Kenrick Park was a short walk away. The tram back had no free seats, so stood all the way back to Bull Street.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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